Our “Caucus for Kids” campaign sat down last Friday, September 13th, in Iowa with Montana Governor and presidential hopeful Steve Bullock for a Facebook-Live discussion of issues affecting children. The broadcast, part of our “Candidate Conversation” series and viewable here, took place at New Horizons Academy child care center in Des Moines.
Bullock responded knowledgeably and animatedly to questions from grassroots children’s advocates: Emilee Harris of Every Child Matters in Iowa; Jillian Herink of the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children; Denise Rathman of the National Association of Social Workers – Iowa Chapter; Lana Shope of the Iowa Community Action Association; and Sheila Hansen of Iowa’s Child and Family Policy Center.
Asked how to assure health insurance coverage to all children, Bullock promised, if elected president, to expand Medicaid in all states, along with a public option for universal insurance. He further urged added attention to children’s mental health.
Regarding early childhood education, Bullock emphasized the need for a significant federal role to promote greater availability and accessibility in light of brain development science findings, and advocated for universal pre-K.
Addressing child safety, Bullock advocated for gun safety measures such as background checks and secure gun storage, while also calling for child abuse prevention in the foster care system and immigration policy that keeps families together.
Bullock said he would ensure that families can meet basic economic needs and save for the future by raising the federal minimum wage and increasing the earned income tax credit. He said he would continue to support school programs that reduce food insecurity. He insisted that every child must have equal opportunity to succeed and urged full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as strong anti-discrimination and anti-bullying policies.
To hear our full conversation with Governor Bullock, watch the video above.
The Children’s Policy Coalition is calling on every presidential candidate to address the issues affecting children and families. Candidate responses are shared here for informational purposes only. The Children’s Policy Coalition does not endorse candidates or parties. We’re caucusing for kids!